According recent research carried out by YouGov being an 'author' is the most desired job in Great Britain with 60% of people interviewed stating that it would the job they would most like to have, so I feel very lucky. My wife, Vicky, is a librarian - voted the second most desirable job - so it looks like we have it made.
Being an author isn't the easy job that some people imagine though. Not only do most authors not get paid anywhere near as much as you might think but also there's also the added worry of not knowing when (or even if) you're going to get paid. But despite this, I love it... and for me it really is the best job in the world. There's nothing else I would rather do.
Not only do I love spending my time writing stories and rhymes for young people but, another great (and essential) part of the job is visiting schools, libraries and just about anywhere else that will have me. It's wonderful having the opportunity to share stories and meet keen young readers and writers - and equally great meeting those less keen readers and writers and showing just what they might be missing and how much fun it can be. As an adult it can be easy to forget just how much hard work is involved in learning to read... something which can easily take away the sheer enjoyment of reading for pleasure.
As well as visiting schools and libraries all around the UK I am lucky to get invited to visit schools abroad. Just before the Easter Holidays I spent a few days visiting schools in and around Montreux in Switzerland... Here's how it went:
I was all packed and ready the night before my journey was due to start so that I could set off nice and early and drive to the airport for my flight to Geneva. The plane took off on time and we were soon cruising at 39,000 feet (see picture above). Just time for a coffee, a biscuit and a read of my book and we were flying over Lake Geneva and preparing to land.
The next step of the journey was a train ride along the side of Lake Geneva. The fact that I was on the train for over an hour shows just how big the lake is. The Deputy Head of one of the schools that had arranged the visit kindly met me at the railway station in Montreux and showed me the way to the hotel where I would be staying.
After checking in to my room I had just enough time for a little look around Montreux. Before long the sun was starting to set as you can see in this picture of the statue of Freddie Mercury that looks out across the lake.
It was time for me to head back to the hotel so I could get something to east and have an early night... all ready for my visit to St George's International School the following morning.
As you will soon see from Part 2 of my Switzerland visit, some of the schools I visited probably look a lot different to the school you go to. Do you have skis lined up outside your classroom?
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